Fargo Criminal Felony Defense Lawyers
Fargo is one of North Dakota’s largest cities, known for its bustling and vibrant art community. Its cultural attractions have drawn people from around the United States to live there and visit to experience the city’s art centers, shopping locations, and eclectic food options. However, there can be situations where people suffer physical, sexual, and financial harm, leading to a felony. A felony is a serious crime that can result in over a year’s jail time and significant financial fines. Those charged with felonies have the right to defend themselves against charges they may not feel are accurate. The felony defense lawyers at Sand Law have experience that can help those charged with felonies develop a legal defense plan.
What is a Felony in Fargo?
Fargo residents and visitors can receive charges for two types of crimes: felonies and misdemeanors. A felony is a serious criminal charge that leads to a criminal suffering severe penalties. The word derives from English common law and describes criminal offenses that led to the accused losing their land and goods.
In North Dakota today, a felony normally involves an illegal act that exposes someone to harm. A majority of crimes that classify as felonies have to do with extreme violence, but they can also include sexual exploitation, theft, and fraud. People in Fargo indicted on felony charges have to serve years in prison and pay thousands of dollars in fines.
Common Examples of Felonies That Can Occur in North Dakota
Serious crimes that involve violence, sexual assault, theft, fraud, and malfeasance can all lead to felony charges in Fargo, North Dakota. Those charged with these felonies could be convicted of crimes and serve serious jail time for the physical, sexual, and financial harm they exposed someone else to.
The following are some crimes that can lead to felony charges in North Dakota:
- Aggravated assault
- Child pornography
- Obstruction of justice
- Tax evasion
- Identity theft
- Drug trade
- Grand larceny
- Impersonating a police officer
What are the Different Classes of Felonies?
North Dakota divides felonies into classes depending on the severity of the crime committed. Each class has its own penalties for those charged with felonies. Those Fargo residents who commit serious crimes will get charged with a more severe class of felony that can lead to significant punishments.
The following are the different classes of penalties in Fargo, North Dakota:
- Class AA Felony: This is the most serious class of felony and can lead to lifetime imprisonment without parole. Felonies that can lead to this charge include premeditated murder and the repeated sexual abuse of a minor.
- Class A Felony: This is one step below Class AA, with serious crimes that can lead to significant harm to other civilians. The penalties include up to 20 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. Murder in the heat of the moment and human trafficking can lead to this charge.
- Class B Felony: This type of felony can lead to physical, sexual, and financial harm but does not reach the severity of the charges above. It can include crimes like armed robbery, sexual imposition, and manslaughter. Those charged with this felony can serve up to 10 years in prison and also have to pay a $20,000 fine.
- Class C Felony: This is the least serious felony charge, but crimes that classify here can still lead to tremendous harm. Crimes that classify as Class C include perjury, stealing a firearm, and homicide through negligence. Those charged can serve up to five years in prison and could have to pay up to $10,000 in fines.
The penalties for severe felonies in Fargo can cost someone decades of their life and tens of thousands of dollars. It’s vital to have a criminal defense lawyer in your corner who can explain the difference between these classes of felonies and how you can defend yourself from accusations of wrongdoing.
Why Choose Sand Law for Your Fargo Felony Defense Case
The criminal defense lawyers at Sand Law have decades of helping citizens of Fargo defend themselves from felony charges. Sand Law is a full-service litigation law firm that handles felony cases for those charged with serious crimes. We understand that many factors can go into a charge like this and will see it from your side to develop a legal strategy.
Our felony defense lawyers have a proven six-step process for helping Fargo citizens charged with felonies: learn, understand, strategize, communicate, execute, and resolve. Our criminal defense lawyers will understand the incident from your perspective and consider your opinions to develop a legal strategy to help you get acquitted.
Do not relent in seeking help with your felony charge in Fargo. Our team of felony defense attorneys is ready to provide personalized legal counsel to help you clear your name of a felony charge. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn how we can help you with your felony defense plan.
Sand Law Felony Defense Case Results
Sand Law’s proven process for helping Fargo citizens with felony charges has yielded tremendous results for our clients. Our in-depth and empathetic legal counsel strategies have helped our clients receive acquittals and dismissals for felony charges, allowing our clients to return to their normal lives without having to worry about imprisonment.
The following are some Sand Law case results regarding clients charged with felonies:
- State v. C.K.: Gross Sexual Imposition (Felony – Class A) – Acquittal by Jury
- State v. J.B.: Domestic Assault (Felony – Class C) – Acquittal by Jury
- State v. D.S.: Theft (Felony – Class C) – Case Dismissed
- State v. M.J.: Possession of Controlled Substance (Felony – First Degree) – Case Dismissed
- State v. D.C.: Criminal Damage to Property Felony – First Degree) – Dismissed
If you received a felony charge in Fargo, our felony defense lawyers can use the strategies we employed in the above cases to help you. Our felony defense lawyers vow to stand by you and defend your rights to help clear your name of wrongdoing.
Most Common Felony Charges Across North Dakota
Here’s a list of some of the crimes that can be charged as felonies that occurred most often in North Dakota in 2021:
- Drug/narcotic violations – 6,451
- Burglary – 2,899
- Motor vehicle theft – 1,979
- Aggravated assault – 1,321
- Identity theft – 852
- Credit/ATM card fraud – 315
As large as those numbers may seem, felony crimes actually aren’t nearly as prevalent in North Dakota as in the rest of the United States. In 2019, our state ranked No. 31 in terms of crimes per 100,000 population. While the US crime rate is 2,489/100,000, North Dakota’s was 2,262/100,000. The following is a quick comparison of the prevalence of certain crimes in North Dakota versus the rest of the US.
- Burglary – There were an estimated 2,608 break-ins reported in our state in 2019. Of course, not all burglaries are felonies. Stealing a car valued at more than $1,000 falls into that category. The US rate of vehicle thefts was 341/per 100,000 population. North Dakota’s rate was slightly higher – 342/100,000.
- Robbery – The robbery rate in North Dakota was much lower than in the rest of the country. Our rate of 23/100,000 (179 overall) was No. 42 in the US.
- Murder – Only 24 murders occurred in North Dakota in 2019, a rate of 3.1/per 100,000 population – the 20th-lowest in the US.
How Does North Dakota Handle Felony Cases?
Each state has its own rules and processes involved in handling felony cases. North Dakota has its own process that all accused criminals, law enforcement, and prosecutors must follow. Those accused of crimes should know this process to anticipate certain steps and work toward establishing a legal defense plan with their Fargo criminal defense lawyer.
The following is the North Dakota process for felony cases:
- Law enforcement investigates the crime
- They arrest or hand out a summons to the party suspected of the felony crime
- The discovery process begins, and parties start gathering evidence
- Random selection of jurors
- Court proceedings begin
- Plea agreement negotiation for the party accused of the felony
- The judge announces the verdict
- Someone found guilty of a felony crime is sentenced
What Should You Do After Being Charged With a Felony in Fargo?
As mentioned above, there is a process that law enforcement, criminal prosecutors, and the accused must follow for felonies in North Dakota. Those accused of felonies in Fargo also have steps that they must take after the felony charge. This includes how they communicate with law enforcement, hiring a lawyer, and building their legal counsel plan.
The following are some steps an accused felon should follow for a Fargo, North Dakota case:
- Invoke your Miranda Rights
- Comply with Fargo law enforcement
- Do not speak to Fargo law enforcement about essential details of your case without a criminal defense lawyer present
- Hire to a Fargo criminal defense attorney
- Write down the important details of your Fargo felony case
- Do not talk about these critical details of your felony case with friends and family
- Do not reveal details of your case on social media
- Pay financial penalties
Should You Hire a Fargo Felony Defense Lawyer?
Those charged with felony crimes in Fargo should hire a criminal defense lawyer. Trying to handle your own legal defense can lead to mistakes that can affect your ability to clear your name. An experienced felony defense lawyer can use their vast expertise to develop a strategy for clearing your name of wrongdoing.
They can assess the case details, interview witnesses, collect evidence, and properly handle court proceedings. A felony defense lawyer’s advantages can help establish your innocence to a jury and let you return to normal life without significant prison time and financial penalties.
Contact Sand Law for Help With Your Fargo Felony Case
At Sand Law, our criminal defense lawyers understand the impact of a felony charge on the accused. It can affect their public reputation and lead people to believe they are dangerous, violent, or greedy. However, not everyone charged with a felony committed the crime they are accused of.
Our felony defense attorneys can help Fargo civilians fight against these felony charges to clear their name of wrongdoing. Our lawyers will communicate constantly with you to help establish the facts of the case and what legal strategy can help put them in the best position to receive an acquittal or dismissal.
Those charged with felonies in Fargo, North Dakota, can contact us for a free consultation to learn about our attorneys and legal strategies that can help clear their names. Contact us today for a free felony case evaluation at 701-394-5396 or on our online contact page.
Frequently Asked Questions About Fargo Felonies
What is the Difference Between a Felony and a Misdemeanor?
A felony is a serious crime that can lead to someone serving years of prison time and spending thousands of dollars on financial penalties. However, it is not the only type of crime someone can be charged with in Fargo. They can also receive a criminal charge for committing a misdemeanor.
This is a less serious crime that normally will require less than a year in prison if a resident is convicted. Those charged with misdemeanors will also have less severe financial fines because their crime does not reach the level of harm as a felony.
The following are some crimes in Fargo classified as a misdemeanor:
- A first-time drunk driving offense
- Driving with a suspended license or without one
- Reckless driving
- Indecent exposure
- Simple assault
- Shoplifting items of a smaller value
- Possession of controlled substances
- Drunk and disorderly conduct
How Long Does a Fargo Felony Stay on Your Record?
In North Dakota, felonies generally stay on a person’s record indefinitely. There is no process for completely eliminating a felony crime charge from a person’s record. However, a 2019 North Dakota law allows those charged with felonies and misdemeanors to conceal their crimes.
Those charged with felonies must wait five years after they serve a prison sentence or probation before they can petition a court to seal their charge. Those charged with violent crimes must wait ten years. Either way, the person trying to seal the charge must not commit any other criminal act in the intervening time.
As long as they were on their best behavior after their crime, they can have the record of their felony sealed, so it’s not accessible by the public. This can help those charged with crimes earn employment because companies cannot access the record of their felony. Those charged with extremely violent or sexual crimes cannot have their felony concealed.
How Can You Restore Your Civil Rights After a Felony Charge?
Every civilian in North Dakota has civil rights that allow them to vote, hold public office, sit on a jury, and more. However, criminals charged with felonies lose these rights upon conviction. Felony criminals must serve their sentences to have their rights restored. Upon release from imprisonment, those convicted of felony crimes can vote, hold public office, and serve on a jury.